An unexamined life
THE UNEXAMINED PERIOD OF ONE’S LIFE Socrates, a Greek philosopher who lived around 399 BC, said, “The life that has not been investigated is not worth living. ” These statements ring just as true today as they did hundreds of years ago, if not more so.
Why was it so difficult then, and why is it still so difficult today, to look at our lives and our environment with a critical lens on? The reason it is difficult is that when we look too closely at our lives, we discover that much of what we are experiencing is not what we had hoped it would be. Once we acknowledge this truth, we must then make an effort to either accept and adjust to harsh realities or begin to consider possible changes, both of which are difficult options.
An even more common choice that many people make is to avoid thinking too much about what is happening to them or their world by masking their problems with all kinds of available drugs — constant new experiences, tranquilizers, food addictions, current fashionable drug and liquor choices that, in the end, do not solve problems but rather become harmful addictions in their own right and complicate their lives even more.
What steps can be taken to break this destructive cycle?
One of the first truths we must acknowledge is that transformation has never been an easy road to travel down. We have evolved into the individuals that we are today as a result of a variety of factors, including inborn traits as well as negative and positive experiences from our history. The bravery to examine some aspect of our personality that we have carried with us from our past and make the necessary adjustments is required.
Losing our way
We must make certain that each day, each week, and each month contains some degree of balance between responsibility and relaxation, or else we risk losing our way. This sense of balance is critical to living a more fulfilling life. We must also re-evaluate our interpersonal interactions such that the majority of them provide us with a sense of fulfillment.
If we require professional assistance in order to achieve all of these changes, we are fortunate to live in an era in which such assistance is widely available. The pursuit of happiness causes us to become more conscious of our surroundings and the impact they have on our lives, prompting us to try to make the world a better and happier place, because what happens in our community and around the world has an impact on our happiness as well as our well-being.
It is ultimately a happier, more creative existence that allows us to function more lovingly both personally and socially, and that benefits not just ourselves, but also our families, our communities, and ultimately our entire planet.